Road Trip through the Southwest – FILIPOKIE
Road Trip through the Southwest

Road Trip through the Southwest

There’s something about road trips, camping, and exploring the wilderness with your best friends that makes life just a little bit sweeter. This was my last hurrah in Southern California so we decided to head on a road trip through Arizona and Utah before leaving this stunning landscape behind.

When you look on Google Maps, driving from Los Angeles to Zion National Park doesn’t look so bad. Six and a half hours? No problem. We left LA at 4 PM on a Friday… And we didn’t reach Zion until 4:30 AM on Saturday. I’m always determined for an adventure so I’m fine with doing the full drive, but I feel bad for my compadres who were expecting to get a good night’s rest that night. It didn’t help that T-storms were striking and the rain thundered down on my Jeep, it was so loud.

We had no plan. So I drove to the Zion National Park Visitor Center, put my Jeep in park, reclined my seat, and slept for an hour and a half. I wasn’t expecting it to be so cold in the dead of summer! Granted, this was kind of a last-second trip so I just hopped in the car with whatever clothes I was wearing and was like, “Well we’re camping anyways, who cares!”

There’s a free shuttle from the visitor center that takes you to all the biggest attractions of Zion, so we hopped on and headed to The Narrows. Keep in mind you don’t need a permit to hike The Narrows if you’re going from the bottom-up. You ONLY need it for top-down. Hiking the Narrows was so worth it; the scenery was gorgeous and it was awesome getting to hike through the stream. As it got later in the morning I noticed the water flow was getting stronger and I would lose my balance a little. Good thing we turned around when we did, because there was a huge flash flood warning issued and the trail was closed off when we returned.

After checking out the other sites in Zion, we decided to drive an hour and a half out to Page, Arizona. We did some off-roading in my Jeep for the first time and camped out at Lake Powell right next to the water. It was absolutely beautiful taking a dip in the lake and also climbing onto the cliffs watching the sunset. The evening was perfect cooking dinner over the fire and doing some astrophotography.

We woke up at 5:30 AM to watch the sunrise at Horseshoe Bend (Just a tip if you’re an avid photographer, the sun peaks behind the bend at SUNSET not sunrise. Sometimes I miss little details). We had a photography tour at 8:30 AM at Lower Antelope Canyon, which I highly recommend over the regular tour if you’re into photography. The guides are really great about catering to your photo needs by stopping tourists that might get in the way, give you some tips for perfect photos, and you get double the time down in the canyon.

Last year I visited Upper Antelope Canyon, and out of the two places, although both are stunning, I recommend Lower Antelope. With Upper Antelope Canyon there’s so many people it feels like you’re being shuttled through a Disneyland ride line and it’s super packed. Even though we were on a photography tour in Upper, there were still a lot less people.

After the tour we hopped back in the Jeep and drove back to LA!

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